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Hong Kong’s Dense Cityscape Inspired These Dizzying Chairs

With nearly 17,000 people per square mile, Hong Kong is one of the densest cities in the world. Its architecture–tightly packed, repetitive skyscrapers–reflects this fact. Italian designer Andrea Ponti became fascinated with the way people have adapted these serialized buildings for their own use, finding signs of life amid industrialized architecture. At Salone del Mobile, Ponti launched Shadows in the Window, a series of eight chairs inspired by this dichotomy.

“The window is the architectural element that best represents the concept of urban density,” Ponti writes on his site. “In large apartment blocks and high-rises, windows appear standardized and impersonal. They repeat in grids of identical rows and identical columns.”

[Image: courtesy Andrea Ponti]
But within the endless repetition of forms, the individual adaptations from each apartment dweller create aberrations within the cityscape–for instance, how they’ve placed chairs in their windows to admire the view. “What emerges from that is a unique urban scenery made of frames and silhouettes, lights and shades, textures and colors,” Ponti writes.

One side of each perch is square, like a window, while the seat’s actual position varies–a unique abstraction of the urban milieu that so intrigues him. “It represents the relationship among the individual, the product, and the urban landscape,” Ponti writes.DB